Driver whose car plunged into water near Southport pier is released from hospital
SOUTHPORT, N.C. (WECT) - A vehicle went over the bulkhead into the water near the Southport pier on Sunday, Sept. 24, according to Southport Fire Chief Charles Drew.
This happened just after 10 p.m. on S Howe Street.
According to Chief Todd Coring with the Southport Police Department, one person was seriously injured in the incident and transported to Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Coring said on Thursday that they were released from the hospital, and he is charged with exceeding posted speed, no operator’s license, and reckless driving. Southport police did not release his name Thursday.
Recovery crews removed the vehicle from the water around 3 a.m.
Authorities initially said they were searching for an unaccounted person but later said that everyone made it to shore.
“There was nothing but debris floating in the river. There was no car in sight. He was just floating,” said Christopher Benton.
Christopher Benton and his dad, Rodney Benton, were fishing when they noticed someone floating in the water. They grabbed life vests from their boat and swam out to help the victim get out of the water.
It’s not the first time an incident like this has happened in Southport.
The investigation behind why this accident happened is going on right now, but Coring says it could have come down to a simple mistake.
“A couple of incidents over the years have been because people mistake the pedal and you know, push the gas versus the break and they just go over the seawall,” Coring said. “This was certainly a unique situation, last night, where the vehicle was so far out into the river completely submerged,” Coring said.
Coring said the city is now considering a solution to prevent incidents like these from happening again.
“Some citizens have asked about types of devices or barriers that could be put in place to try to hold the vehicle from going over the seawall and that kind of thing,” Drew said.
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